Twitter is a cesspool of violent and disgusting misogyny most of the time. A regular day on the blue bird app is often characterised by Agbaya men dedicating so much time and so much energy towards gaslighting women when and if they speak up about systematic and social oppression, Gender Based Violence, and the marginalisation they face in real life.
The responses from these Agbaya men are unanimous; gaslight women and steer the conversation to something as absurd as the final scores of a Chelsea FC match (first it’s a football match and worse it’s Chelsea playing). For these men, there exists a collective resolve; “Women una too dey lie. There is no need for feminism. Sexism yaff disappear. It’s just man-hating. Just say you hate men and go!” You’re probably thinking it; how can a group of people deny the existence of something as concrete and real as systematic sexism? My dear, there is no challenge the Herald & Dike Na Dimkpa of Patriachy cannot rise up to.
On 23rd May 2020, law-student, writer, and editor; Amarachi Nickabugu, announced that she will be tweeting one law per day that discriminates against women until she ‘runs out of material’. It is important to note that the intellectual labor of women like Amarachi Nickabugu has literally nothing to do with proving online trolls and misogynists wrong. That would be centering them in a conversation they have knowingly been obtuse for centuries. Why? Because men are fully aware that sexism is ingrained in our society. Acknowledging it’s existence will only translate to admitting the underserved benefits we gain from a system built on the oppression and subjugation of women and how we actively and tacitly enable said system.
For the past 365 days, between the hours of 6-8 in the evening, Amarachi has tweeted a legislation that discriminates against women. These laws range from violent to harrowing to utter ridiculousness. Spanning over scores of countries (mostly in Africa and Asia), Amarachi Nickabugu has exposed us to a world of legislation that strips away the agency and autonomy of women, underpays women, excludes women from employment and educational opportunities, robs women of their sexual reproductive rights, and sanctions physical violence and incarceration for women who have refused to fall in line.
Last night, Amarachi tweeted “END” to mark this 365-day milestone. But is this the end? No. There are still thousands of laws in so many countries that single out women for the sole purpose of treating women as less. Amarachi’s indepth research is a gateway to understanding the extent sexism looms over every aspect of women’s lives. This is a well-researched, timely, and vital body of academic work. I hope this not only continues the conservation on women’s rights but also answers the “Where does one begin?” question for changemakers and activists all over the world. I also hope Amarachi gets to talk about her work on broader platforms with extensive audience where she will be accorded full and nonnegotiable credit.
So thank you Amarachi Nickabugu for your time, your intellect, your dedication, your heart and for gifting us the most important 365 days of our lives.
On & About is a new weekly thingy by me where I basically bore you with my sedentary life. You can sign up via email in the box below.